Chia seeds have gone from obscure to mainstream in the past couple years, and with good reason. I am so happy that people are embracing this powerful little seed. I buy my organic seeds at Costco (yes, they are mainstream!), and I have no trouble going through the 2-pound bag in just a couple months.
If you haven’t tried chia seeds yet, why should you add them to your daily diet? They are highly-nutritious little seeds and awesome for sustained energy. They are high in fiber, have some protein (they are a complete protein), and they may be best known for their high concentration of Omega 3’s. This combination means they help keep your blood sugar steady so you full and energized for hours. I use chia much more than flax seeds nowadays.
What do I do with the huge bag of chia seeds from Costco? I use at least a tablespoon every day. Here are some of my go-to uses for chia seeds:
- Add to smoothies and shakes. This is my #1 way to use chia seeds. I love how they make smoothies thicker (let stand for a couple minutes before drinking). My morning smoothie keeps me satiated much longer when I add chia seeds. It’s also a great way to add chia to your kids’ diets. Every time I make a smoothie or a milk shake for my kids, I add chia seeds.
- Mix in granola. One of my favorite recipes for granola, Tropical Mango Granola, uses chia seeds. If you make a recipe that doesn’t call for them, add them anyway! If you are eating store-bought granola over yogurt, add some chia to the mix.
- Add them to your trail mix. This one may be a little tricky if you’re on the go. Chia seeds are so tiny; you might need to eat your mix with a spoon! (Honestly, I prefer eating trail mix with a spoon; I hate it when my hands get all sticky from raisins!)
- Chia Seed Pudding. This may be the best one yet. Because chia seeds expand 10x their size in liquid, they form a gel when soaked. Perfect for a healthy pudding replacement! Google is your friend here. .. you will find tons of chia seed pudding recipes, from breakfasts to desserts. One of my favorites is to blend 1 cup of strawberries, 1 medjool date, ½ teaspoon of vanilla and about ¾ cup almond milk in a blender, mix in ¼ cup chia seeds and refrigerate for an hour or so. Yummy! You can also swap the strawberries for 1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder and the date for stevia or a little honey and have a super simple, healthy chocolate dessert pudding. (You may never eat Jello-O pudding again!)
- Add to baked goods. You can use chia seeds in place of eggs! This may save you if you’re short on eggs, have an allergy, or just prefer to avoid them. Just like flax meal, chia seeds can be mixed with water, set aside to gel, and then be used in any recipe that calls for eggs. 1 egg = 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 3 tablespoons water
You can also stir a tablespoon of chia seeds into oatmeal or yogurt, or even make your own energy gels if you are an athlete.
By the way, chia seeds will stay fresh for 2 years when stored at room temperature, so don’t worry about them going bad!
What are your favorite ways to use chia seeds?